Sheffield has long established itself as a leading city of culture, with a calendar full of festivals that celebrate creativity. No Bounds is a new festival to add to the likes of Tramlines, Sensoria and Outlines. The main festival happens this October, but a special 18-hour launch party on 9 June is set to whet our appetites. We caught up with Liam O’Shea, the man behind No Bounds, as well as the Sheffield institution that is Hope Works, to find out more about the launch event and festival.

How did No Bounds come about and what is your involvement in the festival?

No Bounds is a concept I’ve been dreaming up for a while. It is the product of my experiences in music over many years, as well as my love for and interest in the different modes of communication for human emotion and ideas. I wanted to build on what I’ve created with Hope Works, to reach out further into the city and into different art forms, from spoken word to digital frontiers such as live coding, to expand on Sheffield’s platform for great art, be it music or visual art, that can benefit as many people as possible – not just your average art gallery goer.

Sheffield is a city with no shortage of creative and inventive festivals. Where does No Bounds fit into the bigger picture?

I hope that No Bounds will happily coexist with all of the other local happenings. It should inhabit its own space, one that laps onto the shores of the others in a positive way. Working with some incredibly talented people, hailing from Sheffield and the furthest reaches of the globe, I’ve put something together that joins the international conversation.

For the launch event on 9 June you are running a mammoth 18-hour event. What should people expect throughout the day and night?

For the day-time section of the event, which will be taking place at Trafalgar Warehouse in the town centre, you will have access to the gigantic split-level warehouse and art space crammed full of live audio-visual performances by some of the most innovative and pioneering electronic artists. You will also find exhibitions, installations, live poetry and spoken word, multi-channel acousmatic and electroacoustic performances, workshops, talks (including a Q&A with Nina Kraviz), film screenings, and inventions – the likes of which you’ve never seen – as well as quality catering from the food hall with great vegetarian food. The day-time programme runs from 1pm until 10pm. Ages 14 and above are welcome.

The night-time section of the event, running from 11pm until 7am, will take place at two simultaneous raves at two locations in the city: Trafalgar Warehouse, which will play host to the likes of Mumdance, Shackleton (live), Patten (live) and an Algorave showcase; and Hope Works, where you can find Nina Kraviz, DJ Nobu, Lena Willikens, Avalon Emerson back-to-back with Courtesy, and lots more.

You’re no stranger to hosting events that go beyond the medium of just sound, as you hosted Mapping Creativity at Hope Works last year. Is this something you would like to explore more?

Definitely. Mapping Creativity was another step towards No Bounds, as was Crossing The Line, another project I did back in 2012. No Bounds is more of an amalgamation of my experiences on a human level, as well as an artistic level. I’m meeting more and more talented and inspiring people from all kinds of different disciplines, and I am thrilled to be able to work with them.

The No Bounds launch event happens on Friday 9 June. Tickets are available at

Andrew Tattersall